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Singstar vs. Lips, diary entry of a karaoke addict

February 28, 2009

I should say, before anything else, that I am by no means a techie (I often have to enlist my 8yr old son’s help to switch video input on the TV) and I am the last bastion of simple gadgetry in my household (why does a cellphone have to be a video camera and Swiss army knife at the same time?). Therefore, this review would only be of value to someone seeking the thoughts of a  non-programming literate, technologically detached, brand bias-free, karaoke-addicted individual.

That said, in the matter of Sony Playstation Singstar versus Microsoft Xbox Lips, the winner is…(cue trumpets) SINGSTAR!!! Woo hoo…confetti, confetti, sparklers.

Here are my major gripes about Lips:

  • While their wireless microphones are hassle-free (if you like to dance around and act like a fool as you sing, you’ll appreciate this feature) and can double as glow-sticks (they have lights that blink and change color), the voice-capture and over-all sound quality produced by the Singstar mics are far superior. Just drape yourself with old Christmas lights, put away the dog, and carry on singing without sounding like you’re in a tin echo-chamber occasionally crumpling paper for static.
  • WTF is up with the motion-activated extra point feature? (you can get extra points by jerking this way and that in the pose arbitrarily displayed throughout the song). Let me get this straight, I have the option of looking like I have Tourette’s as I sing, pay attention to the side bar for said poses, quickly read lyrics, and modulate my voice to match the pitch bar, all of which are crowded on the screen? Okay, that shouldn’t be hard…I don’t mind being cross-eyed.
  • Was this game created for people with attention deficit disorders? I guess they’ve envisioned over-caffeinated users who are hopped up on speed, desperately needing to do the following as they sing rap songs at lightning speed: pretend to be star glow stick twirlers at a rave, do several poses a la John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever (in addition to playing air guitar and mimicking a rabid chimp), rap a tambourine maniacally, and play a variety of video games using their voices as joysticks. I kid you not, these are all included features in what should be a straightforward singing game.

The best thing to be said about Lips is that you do have the option of downloading music you already have. Granted, the lyrics won’t be available, but you probably know your favorite songs by heart anyway, or you can print out lyrics from the internets. And the songs available for purchase are relatively popular, up-to-date songs.

Which I wish I could say about songs on Singstar. I hope some of the artists they have on are popular in Europe or elsewhere in the world because I never heard of them and they suck, which leaves me no explanations as to why they were included in the game’s song list.

So until Sony catches on and revolutionizes Singstar with wireless mics, good new songs and flexible media downloading, I’ll just have to learn those damn foreign songs as I grow sick of the same few good ones I do sing.

I’ll just have to rock on!   ; )

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